Have you tried elliptical trainers?
Elliptical trainers are one of the most popular fitness machines in the gym, and increasingly popular for home workouts too. That's because they offer a fantastic cardio workout without pounding the joints too much. For this reason, workouts on the elliptical trainer are considered to be "low impact cardio workouts".
The benefits of elliptical trainers
- Ellipticals offer the benefits of a low-impact workout, while effectively exercising both your upper and lower body (it's a dual action workout)
- The elliptical movement reduces strain on your legs, joints and lower back
- The elliptical movement mimics the natural path of the ankle, knee and hip joints when you're moving
- Pedals can adjust to the angle of your stride - further reducing joint pressure
- An elliptical trainer provides a weight-bearing exercise, important to inhibit osteoporosis
- No other fitness equipment simultaneously works as many muscle groups
- You tone more of your body and optimise your energy expenditure
- You burn more calories and fat in less time
- There is a reduced perceived rate of exertion with an elliptical workout
- An elliptical trainer is lower maintenance and less likely to require service than a treadmill
Main types of elliptical trainers
There are two main types of mechanism for elliptical trainers: front drive and rear drive.
Rear drive ellipticals are more reliable: front drive ellipticals are a little more complex and a little more prone to something going wrong.
We also find that rear drive elliptical trainers are smoother. However, everyone has different preferences so it's a good idea to try out both types to see which one feels more natural to you.
What to look for when shopping for elliptical trainers
- Stride length: the stride length required depends on your height. 21" is about standard
- Smooth motion: the elliptical should feel natural to you
- Upper body motion: moving handles will add to your workout
- A good range of adjustable resistance settings
- An incline feature